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27.02.2018 - Article

External Relations

Responsable Delegate: Dr. Kathrin Greve, Tel. +33 (0)1 55 74 57 05, Contact Form

In a global economy that is more and more integrated, the prosperity of the OECD member countries increasingly depends not only on the development of their own economic strength, but also on that of the global economy. In order to be able to fulfil its mandate to strengthen economic development worldwide in a better and more efficient way, the OECD has endeavoured since the end of the Cold War to admit new members and to intensify cooperation with emerging economies that do currently not wish to join the Organisation. Only in this way can the OECD’s global influence as a forum that sets standards in economic cooperation be maintained or extended.

Enlargement of the OECD

The OECD currently has 35 members. As the emerging economies have grown stronger over recent years, the question of stepping up cooperation with these economies has become much more important. Only by including these countries, too, can the global significance of the standards and recommendations developed by the OECD be ensured. Accession negotiations are currently underway with three countries (Costa Rica, Colombia and Lithuania). The accession negotiations launched with Russia in May 2007 have been suspended until further notice because of the annexation of Crimea since March 2014.

During the accession negotiations, potential members must take on some 160 instruments and standards that have been developed over the years by the OECD in a very wide range of economic and political fields. Accession is not guaranteed or automatic. The final decision on accession is made by the OECD Council.

Greater cooperation

In May 2007, the OECD Ministerial Council offered enhanced engagement, with a view to possible accession, to countries that had so far not been willing to join the Organisation, that is, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa. The inclusion of the emerging economies in the OECD’s work is of particular importance for the relevance of the Organisation and thus for the fulfilment of its mandate to enhance political convergence and foster global economic development.

A key element of the enhanced engagement is the inclusion of the partners in the work of the specialised committees and sub-committees. In addition, the OECD has set up individual programmes that include economic analyses and sector-specific studies.

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